MMA announces the 2020 lsu Elihle application date!

Media release 

05 May 2020 

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) announces the application date for the lsu Elihle Awards. This year’s applications will open on the 15th of May 2020.

Translated from IsiZulu to mean “Great Idea”, the Isu Elihle Awards aim to encourage fresh reporting and insightful investigations that seek to give children a voice and highlight the various issues they face across our continent.This is done by inviting journalists from across Africa to submit original child-centred news story ideas for publication or broadcasting in mainstream news media.

Story ideas can be targeted at any mainstream news medium such as TV, Radio or Online. The top six story ideas will be selected and announced during an AWARDS ceremony. The journalists behind these will each receive guaranteed financial support of ZAR 10 000. MMA will also offer support to the finalists to develop their concepts. The final stories will be ranked once they have been published or broadcast, and the final cash prizes will be awarded: ZAR 25 000 (Overall Winner); ZAR 15 000 (2nd place); ZAR 10 000 (Third Place).

Last year’s winner, Thomas Bwire said, “I entered the awards because l wanted to scale up the voices of children because in our reporting as journalists in Kenya or even Africa we don’t tell stories about children in most cases we don’t even get to hear voices of children in our storytelling, we just focus so much about politics and other stories but leave out children in our storytelling”. We courage journalist to start thinking about their story ideas and how they can ethically report on issues faced by an African child while making sure that their voices are uplifted

For more details, terms and conditions visit the Competition Information page on the Isu Elihle Award’s website

For enquiries please contact:

Girlie Sibanda

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2019 Isu Elihle Awards winner!

On Saturday, 1st of February 2020, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) announced the 2019 lsu Elihle Awards winner live on SABC news. “Isu Elihle is an isiZulu phrase that means a “Great Idea” when translated to English, the Awards were launched in 2016 and has been running for four years. The Awards aim to encourage fresh reporting, innovative approaches and insightful investigations that seek to give children a voice and elevate the status of the child all over Africa. In the past two years, the awards were open only for journalists in the Eastern and Southern Africa but from 2018, journalists from all over Africa were included. We are excited to announce the winners: 1st prize and winner of the 2019 Awards goes to Thomas Otieno Bwire, who is an Early Childhood development Journalist from Habari Kibra in Kenya.The overall winner of this year’s organisation’s lsu Elihle Awards is Thomas Bwire, who is awarded for his in-depth coverage of the conditions that children in the Kibera slums are forced to live in. He says the lack of open spaces in the area has led to children not having any place to play, this is bad because play is an important part of each child’s development. Children were also given a voice to reveal how this affects them. Bwire receives a cash prize of ZAR25, 000 after being ranked the overall winner by a panel of judges who are media practitioners. The judges commented on his reporting by saying, ”it is an excellent story that engages those who are involved (children) and seeks out solutions “. Watch the video, ”No play space for children in Nairobi” slums here. The second prize of ZAR15 000 goes to Jamaine Krige & Yeshiel Panchia for their four part series titled, “Scatterings, undocumented, unaccompanied foreign children in South Africa” which was published on Al Jezeera. They looked at the issue of foreign children who arrive in South Africa alone. They explore the lives of these children and how they struggle to get an education in South Africa due to lack of documents. The judges commented on their series saying, “it is a great feature which highlights statelessness, xenophobia, the lack of identity, lack of access to education as a result of being undocumented. The series could have strived to engage more in-depth with those who are in power.”  Read the story here The 3rd prize of ZAR10 000 goes to Athandiwe Saba for her story about education behind bars. It looked at how some children in the criminal justice system struggle to access an education and how this can affect their future. The article “The cracks children fall into when they are in conflict with the law”, was published in the Mail & Guardian newspaper. The judges commented on her in depth reporting saying, “it is a great story which looks at how most children behind bars are unable to access quality education”. Read the story “The cracks children fall into when they are in conflict with the law” here. However there was no Mandy Roussouw category winner this year, even though the stories were great, the powerful were not held accountable in their stories. The Isu Elihle Awards 2020 application date will be announced soon, we call upon journalists from all over Africa to enter the awards. Congratulations to all the winners!